Lake McIntosh ready for rain
By JOHN MUNFORD
Fayette County’s new water reservoir, the long-anticipated Lake McIntosh, is finally complete though work is continuing on the public park that will allow local residents to enjoy the lake.
State officials have given the go-ahead to begin impounding water, but filling the lake will require something that has been in short supply this year: rainfall.
“We need a good shower,” said Water System Director Tony Parrott, adding that the county anticipates the lake being full in a year.
The lake, which is on the southeastern border of Peachtree City and Coweta County, won’t need to be full to start producing more drinking water, Parrott said, though its unclear what level it will have to reach to get to that point. The most important part of that judgment is making sure the water quality is high, Parrott said.
The 650-acre reservoir, which required a dam along Line Creek to impound the water, is permitted for up to 10.2 million gallons a day once it is fully operational.
The lake and dam construction project came in within its $8.23 million budget with Brad Cole construction, according to Parrott. It ran a little longer than expected due mostly to weather delays.
The park construction project is expected to conclude in the first part of next year, with boat docks, a playground, walking trails and other amenities. Although no boats with gas motors will be allowed on the lake, those with electric motors will be able to navigate the waters, as will canoes, sailboats and other human-powered watercraft.
If the lake fills slowly, there may be a delay on opening the park even after its construction is complete, Parrott said. The body of water will stretch just south of Ga. Highway 54 West southward toward Falcon Field Airport.
The park will be accessed off an extension of TDK Boulevard that runs past the water treatment plant where the drinking water from Lake McIntosh will be treated.
The concept of having Lake McIntosh at its current location dates back to the 1970s when Fayette County had purchased the land but regulators steered the county to build Lake Kedron in Peachtree City and Lake Horton in south Fayette County first. Since then, however, the county has acquired additional necessary property over the years to make sure Lake McIntosh would be a viable project, Parrott said.
That is a nod to wise decisions made by several county commissions over a number of years, Parrott noted.
“Because of that and their willingness to purchase property on a future reservoir, that’s what we’ve got,” Parrott said.